At its August 20th meeting, Doraville’s city council passed a resolution supporting Welcoming America’s “One Region Initiative.” This is a group of local government entities around metro Atlanta who have agreed to pursue policies that support immigrants and refugees who live in our communities. This is the first regional welcoming plan in the USA, and I’m proud that Doraville is a founding member.
By joining this initiative, Doraville has committed to work towards inclusion – by doing things like providing municipal information in multiple languages, providing opportunities for civic engagement, and doing general civic outreach to immigrant and under-represented communities.
There were a couple of votes against joining this initiative – they boiled down to two arguments from opposite ends of the spectrum:
“Doraville is already a very welcoming place, so there is no need to join this initiative”
“Doraville has not done enough work to support immigrant communities, and joining this initiative would not change that. “
From my perspective, these arguments don’t hold up to scrutiny. If Doraville is a welcoming place, then we should be actively pursuing opportunities like the One Region Initiative. If we aren’t doing enough today, then we should welcome the One Region Initiative, because it will give us a structure and support for doing more to reach out to immigrant and refugee communities.
I’m proud to support this effort, and that our city has voted to be a part of it. I appreciate the work that Council Member Koontz did to represent the city while the initiative was being planned, and for making the resolution we recently voted on to join the initiative. Our participation in this from the beginning means that our city is helping shape the regional conversation, rather than just playing catch up.